Euroleague Preview & Tips – Round 5 – Friday’s Matches

Euroleague basketball predictions appear under each mini game preview.

Euroleague Basketball Tips

Khimki Moscow – Gran Canaria

Two teams that need a win as soon as possible clash when winless Khimki hosts Gran Canaria in Round 5. Khimki comes off a one-point loss to AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan despite Jordan Mickey’s 26 points and 7 rebounds. Granca also lost at home to CSKA as Clevin Hannah’s 17 points were not enough. This game is important for both sides, because after four rounds, both are in dire need of wins, especially the hosts. A single success could be a stepping stone to bigger and better things in the weeks to come.

The only thing that Khimki seems to be missing is that little bit of luck, that last basket that gives it the first win. So far, the team has the second-weakest defense in the competition, but it lost two straight games by a single point, so in no way is the team struggling. The only thing missing is the win. Of course, if Shved, who has scored in double digits in his last 38 straight games, Gill and Mickey maintain their numbers, Khimki will have half the job done. The only thing is that Jenkins, Markovic and Thomas step up and give the final push that their team needs. That, and crashing the boards with more intensity to improve on its league-low 26.5 rebounds per game.

Gran Canaria has a big problem in its 97.8 points allowed per game for the weakest defense in the league. If you receive that many points every game, adding wins becomes something short of a miracle, so the first step that the newcomers have to make is adjusting to make that number go down fast. The numbers on offense are not bad, so Hannah, Evans and Strawberry are doing a good job in offense. The main goal will be pressing the ball hard on defense and that will, also, bring in more fluid offense if done right.

Tip: 1 (-8.5) at 1.92 with Novibet
(Price correct at 02/11/2018, 10:30 CET)

Buducnost – Panathinaikos

Winless Buducnost welcomes Panathinaikos to the capital of Montenegro on Friday. The hosts were roughed up last week by the defending champs 89-55 despite 13 points from Nemanja Gordic. Panathinaikos also suffered a tough home loss to Zalgiris 83-87. Nick Calathes’ 22 points were not enough for the Greens. The teams are on opposite ends of the offensive spectrum; Buduscnost is last in scoring (64.3 ppg.) and two-point shooting (40.7%), while Panathinaikos is fourth in both scoring (88.3 ppg.) and two-point accuracy (58.9%).

Buducnost has yet to win this season and one can see why: it is last in the league in scoring (64.3 ppg.), more than 10 points away from the second-lowest scoring team. The hosts will need to increase those numbers fast if they want chances to win games in the EuroLeague. The problem is that four players – Early Clark, Alen Omic, Gordic and Jackson – combine for almost 42 points out of those 64. Buducnost needs more players to step up and start contributing.

Panathinaikos boasts the fourth-best offense in the league, but also the third-weakest defense. The Greens will have to return to their traditionally strong defense to fare better. Against Buducnost it can be a bit easier because the opponent has the lowest scoring average in the league, but that is no guarantee either. The connection between Calathes and Keith Langford with players in the paint like James Gist and Stephane Lasme will remain a major weapon for the visitors in this game.

Tip: 1 (+9.0) at 1.90 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/11/2018, 10:30 CET)

Zalgiris – Real Madrid

Reigning Turkish Airlines EuroLeague champion Real Madrid will try to keep its perfect season intact when it visits Zalgiris Kaunas. It’s a clash of two teams that played at the 2018 Final Four, and one where Zalgiris will be looking for its first home win of the season after it previously lost to KRILOBET Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz and Fenerbahce Istanbul. However, Zalgiris got a big boost of confidence last week and is coming off its first-ever road win against Panathinaikos OPAP Athens, a game where it dominated the rebounds and saw Brandon Davies lead the way with 18 points.

Zalgiris had been sitting in the cellar of league’s rebounding department until Round 4, but the road overtime win against Panathinaikos last week showed what kind of magic dominance on the boards can be for the team. Last week Coach Sarunas Jasikevicius’s men set the league’s season-high with 46 rebounds and it led Zalgiris to a win in a place it never won before in club history. And it was a team effort, too, with Aaron White and Nate Wolters contributing greatly and setting their respective career-highs. To break another bad losing streak in consecutive weeks, Zalgiris might need another similar rebounding performance.

The defending champs enter the game posting a league-high 96.5 points per contest, having not scored fewer than 89 points in any game. Madrid will certainly try to play the high-tempo basketball that it fancies and have point guards Sergio Llull and Facundo Campazzo keep the pace and the rhythm to their team’s liking. With Madrid also allowing a league-low 78 points per game and Zalgiris averaging 13 points fewer per game, uptempo basketball seems like Madrid’s recipe for success.

Tip: Race to 20 points – Zalgiris at 2.20 with bet365
(Price correct at 02/11/2018, 10:30 CET)

Milano – Anadolu Efes

The final game in Round 5 of the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season brings us to the fashion capital, where AX Armani Exchange Olimpia Milan hosts Anadolu Efes Istanbul. It’s a clash of teams in good form, each with 3-1 records and the only defeats coming at the hands of Final Four teams from last season. Milan edged Khimki Moscow Region in its last game, while Efes came from behind to beat Fenerbahce in the Istanbul derby. The teams are both among the top in the league in scoring – Milan is fifth and Efes sixth with 86.8 and 85.8 points per game, respectively, but Milan (36.5 rpg.) is among the better rebounding teams and Efes (29.3 rpg.) ranks near the bottom.

So far this season, Milan has held its opponents to 49.7% shooting on two-pointers, which is the third-lowest number in the league. However, too many of those missed shots wind up in the other teams’ hands; Milan has allowed 13.3 offensive rebounds, which is the second-most of any team this season. If Milan can lock down the boards and deny Efes second chances, it will be in a much better position to win this game.

Despite the presences of Dunston and Tibor Pleiss at center, Efes has allowed opposing teams to make 61.9% of their two-point shots, which is the third highest in the league. Moreover, Efes’s opponents have averaged 8.8 steals per game, many of which turn into easy baskets at the other end. Milan has guards who like to penetrate and powerful weapons inside, so Efes must improve its interior defense and take good care of the ball to improve its chances in this game.

Efes’ Rodrigue Beubois is questionable for the game against Milan.

Tip: Over 165.5 at 1.92 with Novibet
(Price correct at 02/11/2018, 10:30 CET)

Basketball tips: Livetipster

Standings provided by Sofascore LiveScore